People in Bahrain have taken to the streets across the Persian Gulf island country to condemn establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Tel Aviv regime, and the visit by Israeli Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi to Manama.
The protesters chanted slogans in protest against the normalization of ties, and voiced solidarity with pro-democracy campaigners and opposition figures being held behind bars, demanding the ruling Al Khalifah regime release them.
The participants carried banners reading “No to normalization… Death to Israel” and “Bahraini nation refuses normalization with Zionism” in Arabic, held up pictures of slain Bahraini youth Fadhil al-Obaidi and expressed unwavering support for the country’s most prominent cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.
Kochavi landed in Manama on Wednesday for his first official visit to Bahrain. He was received by the Chief of Staff of the Bahraini Defense Force Lieutenant General Theyab bin Saqr al-Nuaimi.
The Israeli official sat down with Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifah, the secretary-general of the Supreme Defense Council, and other Bahraini senior military and state officials as well.
During his visit to Bahrain, Kochavi met with Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of the United States Naval Forces Central Command, the US Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces, in the fleet’s headquarters in the country.
Kochavi’s visit to Manama coincided with that of Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz who arrived in the Persian Gulf country on March 9, and signed a program with his Bahraini counterpart, Faeqa bint Saeed Al Saleh, to ensure cooperation between the health sectors of Israel and Bahrain.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet traveled to Manama for his first official visit to Bahrain.
Bennett’s two-day visit to Manama, which coincided with the 11th anniversary of the popular February 14 uprising against Bahrain’s pro-Israel and pro-West Al Khalifah regime, triggered mass protests in the kingdom.
Bahrain, along with the United Arab Emirates, signed a normalization deal with the Tel Aviv regime in a ceremony hosted by former US president, Donald Trump, at the White House in September 2020.
Sudan and Morocco followed suit later in the year and inked similar US-brokered normalization deals with the occupying regime.
Palestinians slammed the deals as a treacherous “stab in the back” and a betrayal of their cause against the decades-long Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.